Trump’s Bay of Pigs
Published on the The Slog on April 8, 2017
Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner
FAKE NEWS IN SYRIA: why this is Donald Trump’s Bay of Pigs moment
After a couple of days spent analysing the motives, players, geopolitics and “evidence” relating to deaths in Syria from nerve gas, it isn’t enough to simply ask some pointed questions about ‘gas attacks’ in Syria. The NATO/Turkey/Saudi narrative makes no sense, and can’t be supported by anyone who’s awake. President Trump is now close to a point of no return to the standpoint that got him elected.
Top of the Pops in the ‘fake news’ category at the minute has to be the “nerve gas attack” in Syria, and President Trump’s retaliation in the face of it. But before we get into the detail (God used to be in there, but these days I harbour a permanent suspicion it’s the CIA) a couple of openers might be in order.
- At this point, we don’t even know there was a nerve gas attack. What we seem able to say is that an attack took place, as a result of which nerve gas was released.
- If you believe that Trump’s reaction to the attack was genuine, then congratulations: you are one of millions of folks across the globe who believe anything their side says. Even as a supporter of Trump in the Election because he wasn’t the murderous psychopath Hillary Clinton, the lachrymose talk about “sweet little babies” in his speech had that familiar saline taste rising in the back of my throat.
I’m sure a lot of what I write sounds heartless, but I am sick to the core of my fairly strong stomach with the brazen and braindead use of children to evoke sympathy whenever the case for belief is, to say the least, flakey. It is the worst kind of sick propaganda, the bonkers premise being that – whichever side you hate – they set out to target kids just to prove how unutterably nasty they can be. The bombers I mean, not the kids.
There is a Twitter site called Israel Bombs Babies. As a positioning, it’s less than subtle: anyone who bombs or fires weapons in any civilian area is a criminal. Be the violence 1956 in Hungary via tanks, 1967 via surprise attack on Israel, 1970 via Agent Orange and napalm in Vietnam, 1971 via bombs in Cambodia – or a thousand other atrocities before and since – children will die. So too will grandmothers, cats, terrapins, circus animals and a million other innocent species who merely want to be left alone.
But this “little babies” whining (to repeat myself, for which I don’t apologise) almost always starts because a bunch of ideologically twisted cynics want our approval for an action that should never be tolerated. Life is full of people excusing themselves for inhuman acts with the risible line, “But I’m only human”.
I’m not trying to be Henry Fonda in the movie Twelve Angry Men. I don’t see myself that way, because both Fonda and his kids always struck me as the sort of Hollywood preppy liberals who give me the pip. But the general parallel is real enough: eleven other media jurists are baying for blood, and I feel more and more like the bloke who says “show me the evidence?” – or more colloquially, “where’s the beef?”
These are the “gas-attack” questions that leave me way beyond a shadow of doubt about culpability on the Syrian attack issue:
- Where is the verifiable photographic evidence that Assad’s jets carried out the attack?
- Given there was at one point in the not too distant past joint US/RF agreement that Assad no longer had access to nerve gas, why is it assumed that this is no longer the case?
- Where is the motive for Assad to shoot himself in the foot with an action like this? This one bears all the hallmarks of the “Assad bombs Turkey” drivel we heard two years ago…which turned out to be nonsense.
- Erdogan has “confirmed” the “findings” of his security services, viz, surprise surprise, Assad carried out the attack. If you think that’s worth the paper it’s written on, then you’re not using that paper correctly: it’s for the cleaning of one’s anus, not the seeking out of Truth.
- What are we to make of the Putin allegation that the strike force hit supplies of ISIS nerve gas, as a result of which nearby civilian populations were affected? I ran a couple of videos this morning of the shaky camera work background bombing footage….it looks to me like the bombs are attacking a base, not a town.
- Does anyone in his right mind really think that a top geopolitical chess player like Vladimir Putin would give Assad the untrammeled right to do precisely the wrong thing at this stage in the process?
Setting all the above to one side as the general doubts, here’s a few specifics:
- The US has been losing both ground and geopolitical credibility in Syria since late last year. The CIA/Texas/EUNATO energy nexus needs something to rack up the anarchy in the region, and get back to the sort of régime-change strategy we’ve all grown to know and love…..via which safe carriage of oil can take place to the West, undisturbed by an Arab nation trying to get back to normality. The action strikes me as exactly the kind of excuse it’d need. The motive is (for me) infinitely more convincing than the idea of Putin suddenly dropping 50 IQ points.
- The US has had Tomahawk missiles in Turkey since God was a girl. After the JFK/Kruschev compromise (following the Cuban missiles crisis in 1962) the missiles were supposed to be removed. In February 1963 – and again in August of that year – Jack Kennedy asked the Generals about progress on the removal, and received less than convincing answers. As the year progressed, he became increasingly determined – if he won the Election in 1964 – that he would put both the Pentagon and the CIA back in a watertight box. By the end of November, he was dead.
- Over the past three weeks, we have been looking at a very different Donald Trump to the new broom that sashayed into the White House a few short months ago. You may think there are Democrat and GOP-biased media in the US, but beyond the newer territories of the internet Resistance, that is a sad chimera: the same unelected psychos of the Establishment are both defining and editing the narrative – as they have been on and off since the Dallas motorcade hit. Nobody can know this for certain (and I would dearly love to be proved wrong) but The Donald bears all the hallmarks of being yet another President who’s been nobbled….or hoodwinked.
One of the anti-Assad legions wringing their hands about this “atrocity” is Saudi Arabia. Ah yes, that fine country so admired by the West for its stance on democracy (it doesn’t have any) and no-nonsense judicial system (based largely on amputation). The Saudis have been running with both hare and hounds for three decades at least; everyone familiar with Middle Eastern culture, religion, politics and conflict knows it. But still they are appeased because they have the munnneeee to buy weapons….including nerve gas. Why the UK Left continues its full frontal assault on Israel when there’s a barn-side called the Saudis to aim at is beyond me.
So these are my two conclusions.
First, both the illogicality of narrative and motives involved here leave me astonished that anyone would just accept it. But the clincher surely is the ‘you would say that’ syndrome: The Saudis hate the Alawites and want Assad out; NATO needs the certainty of oil access and so wants Assad out; and although the Turkish people get on exceptionally well with the Syrians, Erdogan doesn’t like Alawites or Sunnis, is a known supplier of ISIS and a confirmed anti-European Islamist…therefore he wants Assad out. To me, these are infinitely more compelling motives than the ones attributed to Assad and Putin in relation to the attacks.
Second, Trump has either been given some BS he believes, or gone native and joined the nexus. I’d say thus far, the jury’s out. JFK believed the Pentagon about the Bay of Pigs ‘plan’ to overthrow Castro. But when it came to the Cuban missiles crisis, Adlai Stevenson went to the UN with cast-iron aerial reconnaissance and clearly marked missile carriers and silos. Only then did Kennedy believe the generals – and throughout the NSC meetings, he found the hawkish Pentagon view “beyond belief” in its lack of concern for consequences. He vowed to smash he nexus after ’64. Very probably, that aspiration caused his death.
The kindest thing one can say at this juncture about Donald Trump is that he’s new in the job, and has been snowed into the Tomahawk retaliation. John F Kennedy learned from the Bay of Pigs, but then Trump doesn’t have the same wisdom. If The Donald thinks this through, learns the lesson and refuses any further demands for intervention, he may yet be, if not a great President, then at least an agent for long-overdue change. If he doesn’t get it and doesn’t learn, then he’s a dangerous idiot. But if he knows exactly what’s been pulled here and is going along with it, then he’s a coward letting down everyone who voted for him.
The danger with Trump has always been that, along the testosterone dimension, he’s a spotty teenager who never grew up. Having seen everything he tried to do domestically crash dive to Earth, my hunch is that he decided a tough-guy action was crucial to the reestablishment of his credibility. His need to do that, of course, is the direct result of DNC lies about his ties to Russia: but that doesn’t excuse him. Having been elected to do what Clinton wouldn’t do, he has now done exactly what she’d have done. He will not be given a second chance.